The Day of the Locust - Dramatic Reading & Photography | Mechanics' Institute

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The Day of the Locust - Dramatic Reading & Photography
Arion Press

Photograph of Harry performing a hat trick

Photographer Lucy Gray has re-imagined this American literary classic about the shams of Hollywood and the motion-picture industry with her striking noir-esque photos for this fine art edition by Arion Press. Merging literature, theatre, and visual arts this evening of dramatic readings from The Day of the Locust features local actors portraying characters from the novel.


Blair Busbee – Faye Greener
Steven Winn – Tod Hatckett
Sam Hamm – Harry Greener
Jabn Halpren – Homer Simpson

Registration required.

Nathanael West (1903-1940), was born in New York City as Nathan Weinstein.  After  graduating from Tufts College and Brown University he went to Paris for three months and changed his name. In the late twenties, he worked as night manager in a New York hotel, an experience that inspired the character of Homer Simpson and the incident with Romola Martin in The Day of the Locust. His first novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, was published in 1931. He moved to Hollywood in 1933 to be a scriptwriter for Columbia Pictures. That year the novella Miss Lonelyhearts was published, followed in 1934 by his third novel, A Cool Million. Then, while writing screenplays for B-movies to make a living because his fiction did not sell well, he wrote The Day of the Locust.

David Thomson is the film critic for The New Republic and former director of Film Studies at Dartmouth College. He has served on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival and is on the board of advisors to the Telluride Film Festival. Among his many books are The Biographical Dictionary of Film (now in its fifth edition), Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, and The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies. He also wrote the script for the documentary film, “The Making of a Legend: Gone With the Wind”.

Lucy Gray is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, The Independent, and Brick. Her book of photographs of prima ballerinas who are mothers will be published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2014, with an introduction by Hilton Als. Her short film, “Genevieve Goes Boating”, narrated by Tilda Swinton, was named one of the ten best of 2012 by Film Threat.

Meet the Author(s)

Members $10
Friends of Lucy Gray $10
Public $20
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4th Floor Meeting Room
Pam Troy - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling (415) 393-0102.

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